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Sony Ericsson launches Xperia Arc Android 2.3 phone

Has the Reality Display and Mobile Bravia processing

Sony Ericsson has released its latest Android phone, the high-end Gingerbread-running Xperia Arc. We were on hand at the CES 2011 show in Las Vegas to have a look.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc messaging

It’s a sleek and attractive handset from the outside, with its brushed metal case oozing class. The front is dominated by the large 4.2in screen. Sony dubs it a Reality Screen, no doubt aping Apple and its Retina screen on the iPhone 4. The resolution of the Arc’s screen is slightly lower at 854×480 – the same resolution as used on the Motorola Defy. It’s a close-run thing and we found that in the time we used the Arc, it was bright with super-sharp and easy-to-read text.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc left

Sony Ericsson wants this phone to be a powerful entertainment device, so it has a 1GHz processor. For video it’s the first phone to have the Mobile Bravia Engine to boost image quality. If you don’t want to watch on the handheld, an HDMI output lets you plug the phone into a TV.

Android 2.3 gives you access to all of the latest features of Android, including the improved keyboard and process management. Sony didn’t mention that that phone had a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip in it, though.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc home

Sony Ericsson has customised the user interface from the basic Android one. It appears to have done a decent job, but without using the phone for longer it’s hard to tell. We like that the homepages have a permanent bar running across the bottom with shortcuts for Media, Messaging, Phonebook and Phone apps.

With Sony Exmoor R built-in Sony Ericsson is claiming excellent low-light performance from the phone’s camera. However, we were unable to test this under the bright lights of the show, so image quality comments will have to wait until we get a review sample.

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